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Can remarriage impact alimony payments?

On Behalf of | Jun 25, 2024 | Alimony |

Alimony, also known as spousal support, aims to help the financially weaker spouse maintain a standard of living. It provides financial stability during significant change and allows the recipient time to adjust and become self-sufficient. But what happens to these payments if one of the ex-spouses remarries?

4 things that can happen to the recipient’s alimony

If the recipient of alimony remarries, several things could happen to the alimony payments under Michigan law. Here are four potential outcomes:

  • Termination of alimony: In Michigan, alimony payments often terminate when the recipient remarries. This assumes that the new marriage will provide enough financial support.
  • Automatic termination: Some divorce agreements include a clause that automatically ends alimony upon the recipient’s remarriage.
  • Filing a motion: If the alimony agreement does not explicitly state that payments will end upon remarriage, the payer may need to show proof of the remarriage and file a motion with the court to terminate the alimony.
  • Notification requirements: If the recipient fails to notify the payer of the remarriage, the payer might seek repayment for any alimony paid after the remarriage date.

If there are unpaid alimony amounts (arrears) from before the remarriage, the payer may still need to pay those arrears, even after the recipient remarries.

How does remarriage affect the payer?

The payer’s new marital status does not automatically affect their obligation to continue making alimony payments. However, if the payer’s financial situation drastically changes due to the new marriage, they may ask the court to modify the alimony agreement.

Alimony issues after one or both parties remarry can become complicated. Proper legal guidance can help both parties fully understand their rights and obligations. It also ensures fair handling of potential modifications to the alimony payments.